Central European University: Wikis


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For other uses, see European University (disambiguation)
Central European University
Közép-európai Egyetem
Latin: Universitas Europae Centralis
Established 1991
Type Private
Rector John Shattuck
Faculty 305
Students 1,500
Undergraduates 160
Postgraduates 900
Doctoral students 410
Location Budapest, Hungary
Campus Urban
Website ceu.hu

Central European University (CEU) is a US- and Hungarian-licensed and accredited university founded in Budapest, Hungary in 1991. Concentrating on the social sciences and humanities, the university pursues a mission of achieving excellence in teaching, research and policy development in order to influence the region and beyond. CEU's special focus is on contemporary challenges of open societies and democratization.

Central European University has 300 faculty members (130 permanent, 170 visiting) and 1500 students from 96 countries.[1] The majority of CEU applicants come from Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia and increasingly, from all other parts of the world. There is no national predominance at the university. The language of communication and instruction is English. CEU offers 2 Bachelor’s, 30 Master's and 11 Ph.D programs, along with generous financial aid packages.

The university has a combination of American, European and regional intellectual and academic traditions. While CEU follows the American model in research, teaching methods, and in the training of doctoral students, it also embodies Europe’s cultural traditions and developmental objectives. Both teaching and research at CEU reflect this meeting point, placing a strong emphasis on intercultural awareness.

Co-founder George Soros has endowed the university with a total of 420 million,[2] believed to be largest private donation to a university in Europe. This generous endowment allows CEU to sponsor virtually all of its students during their studies. In the academic year 2008/09, more than 1014 students out of 1535 students paid no tuition fees and 678 of these also received a CEU scholarship, ranging from €3,800 - 12,000 per year.



Central European University evolved from a lecture series, organized in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, (now Croatia) before 1989, and sponsored by the Soros Foundation. At that time, the idea of a university where students of the region could study together emerged from several Central European intellectuals and received financial support from George Soros.[3]

The founders wanted to create a network-university to study problems of the Post-Communist region. Accordingly, the Central European University was established in 1991, and at first had campuses in three different Central European cities: Budapest, Hungary; Prague, Czech Republic; and Warsaw, Poland. However this structure was too expensive to maintain and legal problems appeared concerning the accreditation processes, especially in Poland and Czech Republic.[3] Following political pressure from the Czech government of Václav Klaus, in 1996 the University's Prague-based faculties moved to Budapest,[4] later the Warsaw-based faculties did the same.

The Budapest-based campus did not move to its permanent location until 1995 - an event which helped to consolidate the permanent situation of CEU in Hungary. The main campus is located in the heart of the city, near Saint Stephen's Basilica and the Hungarian Parliament Building.

CEU was to be an unusual graduate school for this region: an independent, international institution in the social sciences and humanities, committed to promoting a new model of learning. In addition, the university was a pioneer in many fields: for example, it began the region's first Master's programs in gender studies and environmental science. In the 1990s Central and Eastern Europe was in transition, which made CEU very attractive for professors as well as students. Nowadays, with the end of transition - CEU is changing and reaching out far beyond Central Europe, paying special attention to emerging democracies throughout the world.

Today, CEU is an internationally recognized institution of higher education, serving as an advanced center of research and policy analysis and facilitating academic dialogue, while at the same time preparing its graduates to become the next generation of leaders and scholars. CEU has been seeking to contribute to the development of open societies in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union by promoting a system of education in which ideas are creatively, critically, and comparatively examined. Also, in response to the spreading democratization beyond Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the University has extended its outreach and financial aid program to other parts of the world experiencing emerging democracies.[5]

On 14 October 2007 George Soros stepped down as Chairman of CEU Board. Leon Botstein (President of the Bard College, New York), who had previously served as the Vice-Chair of the Board, was elected as new Board Chairman for a two-year term. George Soros is a Life-CEU Trustee and will serve as Honorary Chairman of the Board.[6] On 1 August 2009 Rector Yehuda Elkana will be succeeded by a distinguished human rights leader and legal scholar, John Shattuck.

Legal Basis

CEU is organized as a US-style institution, governed by a Board of Trustees, with an absolute charter from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, for and on behalf of the New York State Education Department. In the United States, CEU is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In Hungary, CEU is officially recognized as a non-state-maintained and operated university. The institution and its programs are accredited by the Hungarian Accreditation Committee.[5]

Departments and Programs



  • Economics
  • Environmental Sciences and Policy
  • Gender Studies
  • History
  • International Relations and European Studies
  • Legal Studies
  • Mathematics and its Applications
  • Medieval Studies
  • Nationalism Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Public Policy
  • Sociology and Social Anthropology

Degree Programs

Bachelor’s Degrees

  • BA in Business Administration (BBA). An undergraduate degree in International Business offered in conjunction with Milan’s Bocconi University
  • BSc in Global Management.

One-year Master’s degree programs

  • MA programs: Central European History; Gender Studies; Human Rights; International Relations and European Studies; Jewish Studies; Medieval Studies; Nationalism Studies; Philosophy; Political Science; Public Policy; Sociology and Social Anthropology
  • MS programs: Environmental Sciences and Policy; IT Management
  • LLM programs: Comparative Constitutional Law; Economic and Legal Studies; Human Rights; International Business Law
  • Business programs: Master of Business Administration; Executive MBA (International Master's in Management)

Two-year Master’s degree programs

  • MA programs: Political Science, Critical Gender Studies, Economics; Historical Studies; Philosophy; Sociology and Social Anthropology with Specialization in Global and Urban Studies (two years, US accreditation in process)
  • MSc in Applied Mathematics

Doctoral programs

  • PhD in: Comparative Gender Studies; Comparative History of Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe; Economics; Environmental Sciences and Policy; Mathematics and its Applications; Medieval Studies; Philosophy; Political Science (Political Science, International Relations track, Specialization in Nationalism Studies); Sociology and Social Anthropology
  • Doctor of Juridical Sciences (SJD) giving students an opportunity to work towards a doctoral degree in law with a combination of independent research and coursework.

CEU Business School

The CEU Business School was established independently of CEU in 1988 as the International Management Center (IMC), and was the first institution behind the Iron Curtain to award western-style MBA degrees. CEU Business School - together with three other universities - offers the 11th best Executive MBA program in the World.[7] According to the Global Top 100 Business Schools Research Report, CEU Business School is in the top 100 Business Schools in the World and in the top 30 in Europe (18th in 2006; 24th in 2007).[8]

CEU Summer University

The program is unique in its diversity of faculty and student body as well as its academic offerings. It brings together groups of interested individuals to study together intensively for two or three weeks in Budapest coming from an enormously varied geographical, cultural and academic background. Participants have been accepted into the program from 99 different countries ranging from Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to countries of Asia, Africa, North America and South America. The courses are taught by a team of teachers who also represent a wide range of countries in an effort to match the diversity of the student body. Professors have come from approximately 54 different countries from the region as well as mostly from Western Europe and America.[9]

CEU Library

The Central European University Library was founded by George Soros in June 1992. This rapidly growing library already has the largest collection of English-language materials in the fields of the social sciences and the humanities in Central and Eastern Europe. The Library currently holds over 200,000 documents in various formats, including 150,000 monographs, over 1,500 periodical titles (with 25,000 retrospective volumes), and 10,000 working papers titles. The primary concerns of the CEU Library are to develop a modern English-language university library in the fields of the social sciences and the humanities and to become a leading research and information center in the region by using all available means of information technology. The holdings of the Library reflect the extensive and specialized curriculum of CEU, focusing on subjects which will help develop and sustain open societies in Central and Eastern Europe.[10]

Distinguished faculty

Notable alumni


External links

Coordinates: 47°30′1.85″N 19°2′58.49″E / 47.5005139°N 19.0495806°E / 47.5005139; 19.0495806


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